In my role as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community, I coordinated a letter to the Home Secretary Suella Braverman today, ahead of the Public Order Bill’s latest hearing in the House of Lords, calling for the anti-protest measures in the bill to be reconsidered in their entirety.
Protest is a cornerstone of democracy. It has always been a vital way of making our voices heard, from the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter. But this Bill’s harmful measures will entrench racial injustice, and make it more dangerous for people of colour to take to the streets for causes we believe in.
This year alone, it has become increasingly clear time and again that the police can’t be trusted with the powers that they already have, but the Government continues to push through plans to hand them even more – when even the police themselves have said these additional powers are unnecessary.
Expanding stop and search, introducing protest banning orders, will make it much harder for us to protest, and put people of colour in harm’s way.